The Square lodges additional planning for new extension

By Aideen O'Flaherty

ADDITIONAL information has been submitted in relation to plans for a sizeable extension to The Square Shopping Centre.

As reported by The Echo earlier this year, Merrion Square-based Oak Square Retail Car Park Limited lodged a planning application with South Dublin County Council for a substantial extension to the south side of The Square.

The Square Southern Development compressor 1

An artist impression of The Square Southern Development

Permission is being sought for the development of a mixed-use commercial extension, with 9,956sq.m gross floor space, to the southern side of The Square, a new public plaza and all associated site and development works, including new signage.

Outlining which sections of the centre will be affected by the proposed extension, the applicant stated that there are to be no changes to Level 1 of the centre, while on Level 2 the southern mall entrance lobby is to be removed to make way for the construction of a new extension to the existing Level 2 mall near the Sean Walsh Park footbridge.

The extension is to include six retail units, a food hall/market hall area for multiple restaurant, food and beverage type uses with associated seating areas (2,041sq.m), a restaurant/cafe unit (67sq.m) and associated ancillary accommodation and circulation (1,534sq.m) and plant rooms (176sq.m).

The proposed two-storey mall extension near the Tesco entrance to the centre, will take over 140 surface car-parking spaces on Level 2, with access from the top storey into the shopping centre provided for.

Elsewhere, there is to be the development of a new Level 3 entrance and the creation of new public plaza to replace the existing roof car park (111 spaces) and provision for a new outdoor public plaza to be used for multi-purpose events, civic and recreational uses.

The new public plaza is also to be used for retail and food and beverage concessions involving temporary moveable structures erected on a seasonal basis.

The creation of the new Level 3 entrance involves replacement of an existing retail unit at Level 3 with mall area to include flexible kiosk type retail concession areas, and two buildings accommodating nine restaurant/bar units, ancillary accommodation and associated outdoor seating areas in the new plaza on south-facing terraces.

The local authority sought additional information concerning the public plaza element of the proposal last February, regarding noise and wind at that location.

They stated they had concerns “in terms of the usability of the outdoor space due to the fact that the plaza would be elevated and could potentially be affected by exposure to traffic noise from the N81 and exposure to wind.

“There are also a significant number of existing trees located where the extension would be constructed.”

The requested additional information, including an arboricultural impact assessment, a wind microclimate assessment, a landscape plan and a public plaza noise assessment, was recently submitted by the applicant.

The €100m Square expansion scheme investment would generate 500 jobs during construction and 250 permanent jobs once complete.

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